Artist Portrait Series by Simon Kim

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This week, we’re featuring a series from Australian film photographer Simon Kim. Simon was able to spend time with charcoal artist Roman Langginou and capture a bit of his process on film. Scroll down to see the images and read more from Simon about his time working with Roman.

Analog cameras and films used: Mamiya 645 Pro (Find at KEH Camera or on eBay) | Kodak Portra 400 (Find on Amazon)

Connect with Simon: Website | Instagram

Roman Longginou: Website | Instagram

Medium Format Film Photography Artist Portrait Series Mamiya 645 Kodak Portra 400

From Simon Kim:

To this day, Roman Longginou’s work stuns me speechless with his ability to convey such emotional and refined ideas with only a charcoal pencil and a few cups of coffee.

This studio visit has been on my mind for at least a year (since my first encounter with Roman,) and, yet oddly enough, the confinement of COVID-19 somehow finally led to capturing the brilliant mind of Roman Longginou in his studio.

Artist Roman Longginou sitting in front of his work. Captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.
Artist Roman Longginou creating a detailed drawing. Captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.
Artist Roman Longginou working on a detailed pencil drawing. Captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.

Firstly, upon arriving in his space, the minimal lighting that were a benefit to his long hours of studio work became a bit of an obstacle for a stock such as Portra 400.

However, Roman directed me to an enormous lamp he uses to spotlight his work.

What followed was placing my Mamiya 645 Pro on a tripod at 1/60th of a second and aiming the spotlight directly onto Roman for a dramatic look. Luckily, I received minimal-to-none image shake in my scans and the lighting was clear as day.

Two portraits side-byside of artist Roman Longginou, captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.
Art supplies from the stuido of artist Roman Longginou. Captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.
Artist Roman Longginou standing in a doorway near pieces of his work. Captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.

But I didn’t want this collection to be a display of Roman and his work only – any visitor to his exhibition could do the same.

I wanted to reflect who he was in the brief moments I had with him – visionary, prolific and most of all, genuine.

Artist Roman Longginou sitting in front of his work. Captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.
Artist Roman Longginou creating a detailed pencil drawing. Captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.

Luckily, the sun had revealed itself from the clouds, and I asked to take a few frames of him outside.

Roman wanted to avoid cliche’s or anything too awkward, which I agreed; however, I emphasized my aim was to capture as much honesty as we could, so even if the awkwardness seeped out in a photo, I feel that I achieved my goal.

I would have to say, the Mamiya 645 paired with the Sekor C 80mm f2.8 lens does an outstanding job in delivering creamy bokeh and fine-tuned frames.

Two side-by-side portraits of artist Roman Longginou captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.
A shadow of artist Roman Longginou captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.
Artist Roman Longginou sitting in front of his work. Captured on film by photographer Simon Kim and featured on Shoot It With Film.

This collection was certainly different from the portraits I normally gravitate towards and, potentially, a new step forward into capturing the honesty and innovative works of local, gifted artists.

Check out all of our film photography features here, and if you want to have your own film work featured on the site, view our submissions process!

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I love the shot of him in the doorway. Lovely photo set!

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